The UTEP volleyball team opened the Razorback Invitational with a 3-0 win over Louisiana-Monroe on Friday afternoon in Fayetteville, Ark.
Junior Jeane Horton led the way for the Miners posting 11 kills while junior Malia Patterson recorded her second double-double of the season with 27 assists and 18 digs. Xitlali Herrera and Victoria Valencia aided the defense with double-digit dig performances with 14 and 15, respectively.
The teams traded points through the first half of the opening set before the Miners found themselves down 18-13. A kill by junior Jacqueline Cason ignited the Miners’ steady climb. Taylor Nixon paired up with Cassandra Burruel and Xitlali Herrera at the net to deny to two Warhawk attacks to bring UTEP within three at 21-18. Two service aces at the hands of Victoria Valencia inched the Miners within one forcing Louisiana-Monroe to a timeout. The Miners retained the momentum capitalizing off of three Warhawk attack errors to take a 24-21 lead. Herrera completed the UTEP comeback with a kill from Patterson to give the Miners a 1-0 set lead.
Down 3-2 in the second frame, the Miners went on a 6-0 run powered by kills by Horton, Burruel and Herrera sending the Warhawks into a huddle. Louisiana-Monroe came back from the timeout with a kill to end the run, but Horton’s dominance at the net put Patterson at the service line. UTEP went on a 9-0 run led by Burruel’s three kills and two block assists giving the Miners a 17-5 lead. A Cason mishap gave the Warhawks the serve, but the junior redeemed herself with a kill. The Miners used two more runs, 4-0 and 3-0, to go into the break with a 2-0 lead with a 25-8 rout in the second stanza.
UTEP took an early 3-0 edge to begin the third set before mounting a commanding 11-5 lead with a 5-0 run. The Miners allowed two more Warhawks points before pulling away to a 16-7 lead with four consecutive points. The teams traded rallies before the Miners put away Louisiana-Monroe with a 6-0 run that included kills by Horton, Burruel, and Cason.
The Miners will return to action tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. (MT) against Houston Baptist before taking on Arkansas at 6 p.m.